The Amazing Readers of Plattsburgh Public Library

A while back, children’s librarian Miss Karen asked me if I’d do an author visit for the Plattsburgh Public Library Summer Reading Program.  I was planning to read SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY and OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW with the younger kids & show a presentation on research & writing for the older ones. I was imagining a dozen or so kids…so when Miss Karen emailed before the event to tell me she was expecting closer to a hundred people, my plan needed to change just a bit.

I fired off an “urgent – help!!” email to my editor & publicist at Chronicle Books, and within the hour, a digital copy of SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY landed in my in-box so that I could project the illustrations for the larger crowd.  (Sending hugs to Melissa & Lea right now!!)  And it was a good thing – SEA MONSTER’S FIRST DAY is a good-sized picture book, but it still would have been tough to see from the back of the room!

The group spanned all ages, from Pre-K up to middle school, so I shared a little about all of my books – novels for the older readers, chapter books for the earlier elementary school kids, and picture books for the little ones (though I’m not little, and I will always love picture books!)

With OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW coming out soon (in October!) I finally had a chance to play with the animal puppets I bought, way back when I first sold this book in 2008. I showed the kids some pictures of the winter woods in the Adirondacks that inspired me to write this book, and we talked about which animals might want to hide under the snow (to avoid becoming another animal’s dinner!) and which would probably be hunting over the snow, looking for prey.

I…umm…really like playing with puppets. Can you tell?

After my presentation, some families needed to leave, but others still had lots of questions, so we settled ourselves on the floor in a smaller circle to talk about books and writing.

I enjoyed answering questions, and I especially loved hearing about what these young writers were working on themselves — stories about girls who changed into butterflies and back again, about dancers and dragons.  One young man told me about his book called GREEN HAM AND EGGS. “It’s inspired by Dr. Seuss,” he said, “but I changed it around.”

With these young readers & writers coming up, I think the future of publishing is in very good hands, indeed.  Thanks, Miss Karen and Friends of the Plattsburgh Library, and most of all, the readers who came out to celebrate books on a sunny summer day. I had a great afternoon with all of you!

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